Friday, January 13, 2012

newsletters are not dead

It’s true that social media takes the (communication) cake these days. Businesses and organizations are embracing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn by the thousands. And that’s great, because these are all excellent ways to stay connected.

But social media isn’t everything—it’s only part of the publicity game. Newsletters are still powerful marketing tools, and you can distribute them online (e-newsletters or ezines) or go the traditional route by printing copies.

No matter which format you choose, newsletters are a good way to reach out to your target audience. They’ll see your name on a regular basis and thus remember you. Just be sure to keep a few things to keep in mind when planning your publication:

Know why you’re publishing a newsletter.
Are you trying to motivate employees with internal information? Do you want to keep clients and donors updated about your organization’s services? Knowing why your newsletter exists will help you maintain focus by providing information your readers will find valuable.

Provide quality content.

You’ve probably heard the statement “content is king.” It’s true, so be sure to think about the type of information you will to include. Some ideas:

  • Note how to find your organization online. Links to your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages are good ways to show readers that you exist in a variety of platforms.

  • Offer valuable information. Articles providing problems/solutions and special offers give readers something to take with them after they’ve finished reading (think useful knowledge via articles or savings through discounts).

  • Feature case studies staff profiles. Let your readers get to know your company on a personal level, either through “meeting” employees or providing testimonies about how you’ve helped others.

How will readers find you? Tell them! Have a sign-up space on your home page for ezines, keep a copy of print newsletters in your office or waiting area, and mention your publication on invoices and billing statements.

Other tips for newsletters:

  • Set a publication schedule and stick to it.

  • Keep your newsletter relatively short. Three to five articles is plenty per newsletter.

  • Make it easy to read. Write for the format in which it will appear and make it visually interesting with logos, graphics, pictures, etc.

  • Keep it scannable: use headings, bulleted lists, bold text, etc.

Do you publish a great newsletter already? We'd love to share it with our readers. Or send us a link to your publication if you'd like some feedback on how to improve, and we'll provide it for FREE!

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